home Women in Sport Media Announcing a hiatus

Announcing a hiatus

We’re taking some time to reshape Siren to keep challenging the status quo of sport media and continue to support women and non-binary folk in sport! Bring on Siren 2.0!

To our wonderful Siren community, 

It’s been a while between newsletters but we’re happy to be back in your inboxes today sharing some news that is brimming with possibility and potential. 

We’ve been running Siren for three years now (can you believe it!) and we’re so proud of all we’ve achieved. 

We launched our Emerging Sports Writer Program and have supported nearly a dozen women and non-binary people through its various iterations and enjoyed the privilege of sharing some of their brilliant work. 

We teamed up with Deakin University to offer internships to their students, in the process supporting the publication of some pretty impressive and amazing stories. 

We partnered with Swinburne University to create some really important research around women’s sport in mainstream media in the early months of the pandemic. 

We have a partnership with ABC Sport and have worked with dozens of women and non-binary writers and photographers, offering tailored support to get their work published on one of the biggest platforms in the country. 

We’ve published over 100 newsletters, offering paid opportunities to emerging and established sports media creators and featured original work from a whole bunch of excellent people. 

We launched a podcast and shared a whole heap of behind the scenes conversations, bringing to the front the real talk about running an organisation like Siren plus sharing chats with a few of our favourite people.  

Collectively, it’s been an incredible three years but it’s been pretty remarkable individually too. Siren co-founders have done a whole bunch of really cool things over the last few years, stepping into new roles and adding their expert voices to the bigger conversation. 

We’ve done all of that with the support of an incredibly engaged and wonderful community—that’s you, reading this right now! We’re so grateful for the role you’ve played in helping us do all that we’ve done so far. 

Now as we enter year four, we’re at a point where we want to take some time to catch our collective breath after a busy few years, and put our energy into planning what’s next for Siren.

We talk a lot about our capacity as Siren co-founders, how we balance other work and opportunities and when we need to pull back to protect our time and energy. Now is one of those times. 

Just a few weeks ago, one of the OG’s, The Outer Sanctum, announced the end of their podcast as we’ve known it. For many of us, it was a sad time. The Outer Sanctum has provided a space for the conversations we wanted to have, it has been a safe space, a place where you could be wholly yourself. They shared the mic and lived the nothing about us without us mantra. 

But in recognising that they need to pause, to stop, to change, to evolve, they demonstrated the possibility of reshaping the narrative around what we can do and be. 

As Siren co-founder Dr Kasey Symons so eloquently expressed in her love letter to the Outer Sanctum, there is power to be found in that reshaped narrative. 

When the tweet dropped last week that the Outer Sanctum podcast would not return for the 2023 AFLM Season, the collective #WomenInSport and women’s sports loving twittersphere shared a gasp of shock and sadness.

I too released a deep breath at the news. It was a release filled with a little with sadness, of course, but it was mostly profound pride that caused the tears to well in the corner of my eyes. 

I felt the power of women who I so admire, who have done so much work and who have supported so many, take a collective step back and build a narrative that stepping back is not only ok, but it is to be celebrated.

For those of us in the independent and alternative media space that covers women’s sport, it is unbelievably tough. But we navigate this through our passion to make a change, through the camaraderie of the excellent like-minded people working and creating content alongside us and the hope that what we do can make an impact. And we are all making an impact. 

I think the most important thing we’ve been able to learn from the Outer Sanctum is that the best way to challenge the status quo of sports media is to open as many doors and bring as many people along the journey as we can to add more voices and more diverse conversations to our sporting landscape. And those of us who have connected with the Outer Sanctum and felt that support now feel empowered to do that for others. 

Success is in our stories, in our shared lived experiences, in our support networks. Stopping a podcast or a blog or a column or tiktok or an instagram page doesn’t change that. So I hope our fellow content creators and advocates can take strength in the knowledge that everything you create that shares one story, that amplifies one voice, is making a difference, and you are not failing if you want to, need to, have a break or walk away. 

This space is hard work! And, if we’re honest, mostly unpaid and emotionally draining and risky work. And we can own this space by working within it in ways that serve us best. Having these conversations and sharing those experiences is another way for us to continue to champion, support and celebrate each other as we all work in our different ways to drive change.

We want to keep Siren strong, driving change and challenging that status quo and continuing to deliver the support that women in sport media need. But what that change and that support looks like is shifting and evolving, it has done over the last three years and continues to do so. And so we need to shift and evolve too. 

So we’re taking a hiatus at Siren HQ so we can reflect and plan for that evolution. 

What does that mean? Well, it means that your regular newsletter and podcasts will pause. Paid subscriptions will also stop—when we return post-hiatus, we’ll let you know how you can contribute and share some new and very cool rewards for supporting us and our work! 

But while we may be pressing pause on the newsletters and podcasts as you’ve known them, we promise we’re not going anywhere!

While we’ll be taking this time to imagine and plan for what’s next, we’ll still be active on social media sharing all that women in sport goodness we all love so much. 

We’ll still be collaborating with ABC Sport through our partnership to get more diverse sports stories published—pitch us! 

Plus we’ll drop a podcast and newsletter here and there when we’ve got goodness to share.

We’re so grateful for your support as paid supporters and subscribers, as sharers and amplifiers, as friends and colleagues. We can’t wait to share with you what the next evolution of Siren looks like!

Thanks again for all your support, and understanding as we take time to write the next chapter for our journey.

The Siren Team

We’re still open for collaboration and partnership opportunities!

Like we said, we’re not going anywhere! While we work on what’s next for Siren and how we can keep supporting women in sports media, we’re also taking time to prioritise our ongoing collaborations and partnerships and paid work.

But we’re still open for further collaborations, partnerships and consultations. So, if you want to get in touch with us to chat about how we might work together, email contact@sirensport.com.au

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *